Tuesday, January 4, 2011


I've been following a modified version of the training schedules in Pete Pfitzinger's book "Advanced Marathoning." It's an 18-week program that's supposed to get you in top form for a race at the end. I'm currently in week 2.

The program isn't much different from what I remember doing in cross-country and track workouts in high school and college, except (thankfully) there's much less emphasis on speed workouts. Today was my first speed workout, and it's something I've never done before, which Pfitzinger calls "100-meter strides." The idea is to go to a track and gradually increase your speed over 70 meters, when you're running full speed. Then you "float" for 30 meters. Then you walk 100 meters, and do it again, repeating 10 times. You're supposed to focus on relaxing your upper body and keeping proper form while you run. In this way, you learn to keep good form as you pick up the pace in a race.

I've done lots of intervals, where you do repeated runs at a fast pace for a specified distance, like 200 or 400 meters, but I've never done something where you gradually increase the pace. Also, the book calls for you to do the strides at the end of a medium-length run, in this case 8 miles. I decided to shoot for 8 total miles, with the strides about a mile from the end. This way I didn't have to drive anywhere.

When I was planning this training I thought I'd be doing the strides at the Davidson College track, but the college decided to rip up its track over the winter, so instead I did them at the local middle school. Here's an image from the Garmin record of the workout:

There are a couple interesting details here. First, I stayed in lane 2 for the entire workout, but as you can see, the Garmin makes it look I was running around like a drunken sailor. That gives you a good sense of how (not) accurate the Garmin really is. Second, you can see each stride quite well on the pace graph—10 even peaks. Even though I slowed to a walk between each stride, my overall pace didn't change much for the miles (5 and 6) that included the strides: 10:06 and 9:59, compared to 9:30-ish for the rest of the run.

Overall I found the workout pretty easy, which is what it is supposed to be. Tomorrow I have a tempo run, which is where I should really expend some energy.

No comments:

Post a Comment